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Copyright (c) 2021 Aferdita Kurti-Karameta, Fimka Tozija
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The current pandemic of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Global COVID-19 burden is characterized by a high variability in death rate across countries. Several possible explanations have been proposed, but it is not clear whether this variability is due to a single predominant factor or instead to multiple causes. The aim of this paper was to present and analyze the epidemiological situation and burden of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo compared to other countries in Europe and the world. Material and methods: Public health approach and desk review were applied to present and analyze the trends over time of selected epidemiological indicators for COVID-19 based on multiple sources of data as well as WHO epidata and literature review. The assessment of the epidemiological situation in EU/EEA member states was done using the surveillance data routinely collected by ECDC. Official medical records from the National Institute of Public Health, other relevant health institutions; State Statistical Office and Ministry of Health in Kosovo were used. Results: According to ECDC as of 11 February 2021, 106,472,660 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 2,323,103 deaths. COVID-19 cases have been reported from: Africa: 3,673,181 cases, Asia: 20,438,608 cases, Europe: 34,681,426 cases, America: 47,620,931 cases; Oceania: 57,809 cases, Others: 705 cases. Deaths have been reported from: Africa 95,128 deaths, Asia 343,886, America 1,107,066, Europe 775,883, Oceania 1,210 and Other 6 deaths. In Kosovo from 13 March 2020 until 15th February 2021 there have been 64,298 cases of COVID- 19 with 1534 deaths. Absolute values of the indicators remain high in all countries in Europe, including those with stable or decreasing trends in these indicators, suggesting that transmission is still wide spread. The epidemic trajectory over the next months will be determined by the balance of four factors, with many different outcomes possible: the continued scale-up of vaccination, declining seasonality, the spread of new variants and increased behaviors that favor COVID-19 transmission. Conclusion: Findings from this paper can help to develop evidence-based policy interventions in Kosovo for risk assessment of COVID-19 and protection of general population and especially vulnerable groups with higher risk from COVID 19.
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